China targets Google in crackdown on pornography
AP - 1 hour 35 minutes ago
BEIJING - China launched a major crackdown on Internet pornography Monday targeting popular online portals and major search engines such as Google.
Seven government agencies will work together on the campaign to "purify the Internet's cultural environment and protect the healthy development of minors," according to an announcement on the government's official Chinese-language Web site, china.com.cn.
Pornography is banned in China, though the government's Internet police struggle to block Web sites based abroad.
The government announcement said Google and Baidu, China's two most heavily used search engines, had failed to take "efficient" measures after receiving notices from the country's Internet watchdog that they were providing links to pornographic material.
The statement also named popular Web portals Sina and Sohu, as well as a number of video sharing sites and online bulletin boards, that it said contain problematic photos, blogs and postings.
It said violators will be severely punished, but did not give details or say how long the campaign will last.
A Google spokeswoman in China, Cui Jin, defended the site's operations, saying it does not contain any pornographic content.
"If we find any violation, we will take action. So far, I haven't seen any examples of violations," Cui said.
Baidu did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment, and phones at Sina and Sohu rang unanswered.
China has the world's largest population of Internet users with more than 250 million. The central government has blocked access to many Web sites it considers subversive or too political, including The New York Times' Web site on Dec. 19. It was unblocked a couple days later and remained open Monday.
Beijing loosened some media and Internet controls during the 2008 Summer Olympics _ gestures that were meant to show the international community that the games had brought greater freedom to the Chinese people. During the August games, China allowed access to long-barred Web sites such as those of the British Broadcasting Corp. and Human Rights Watch. Those Web sites remained open Monday.
In the past the Foreign Ministry has defended China's right to censor Web sites that have material deemed illegal by the government, saying that other countries regulate Internet usage, too.
Recommend this article
Average (0 votes)
Sign in to recommend this article »
Most Recommended Stories »
Related Articles: Asia Pacific
Bus crash kills 15 people in southwest ChinaAP - 22 minutes ago
Japanese sailor lost off whaling ship in AntarcticAP - 30 minutes ago
Premium tuna fetches $100,000 in Tokyo auctionAP - 37 minutes ago
India gives Pakistan evidence over Mumbai attacksAP - 47 minutes ago
Philippines aborts Gaza rescue plan: officialAFP - 47 minutes ago
Most Popular – Asia Pacific
US steel industry in collapse, eyes government aid: report
Israeli army moves on Gaza City as war toll passes 510
John Travolta's teenage son dies, autopsy planned
France leads alarm over Gaza, splits with US
Rare Bugatti untouched for 50 years could fetch millions: report
View Complete List »